Paolo Veronese

One of Veronese’s first independent commissions in Venice was a very large canvas depicting Saint Mark, the city’s patron saint, crowning female personifications of Christian theological virtues—Faith, Hope, and Charity. This drawing is a preparatory study for the figure of Faith. She is rendered as if seen from below, with her left hand raised and her head turned skyward, creating a powerful impression of upward movement. The study is Veronese’s earliest known drawing in black chalk, which he methodically applied using regular, evenly spaced hatching. Now in the collection of the Louvre, the painting once adorned the ceiling of the Hall of the Compass in the Doge’s Palace in Venice.

Paolo Veronese
Italian, 1528–1588
Study of a seated woman seen from below and another study of her head, 1553–54
Black chalk, with touches of white chalk, on blue paper
Richard and Mary L. Gray, promised gift to the Morgan Library & Museum
Gray Collection Trust, Art Institute of Chicago
Photography by Art Institute of Chicago Imaging Department